Fairly Symmetrical

July 2004 Archives

11:00 AM by Eric: That's the best Scary Uncle I've seen in some time... Movies and TV

Last night I was folding laundry, so I flipped on the TV in the bedroom. There's only analog cable and no Tivo in there, so it's a very different experience from watching TV in the living room. Anyway, USA was playing Jurassic Park (the firstonly one), which I haven't seen in years. My family actually went to see it on the big screen--I remember we saw it at the Oxmoor theater--since we're all big science dorks. :)

Anyway, since USA takes 15-minute commercial breaks, I was also flipping over to SpikeTV, which was showing several episodes of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge in a row. I don't know anything about the show except that it's hilarious... my favorite part is the names the commentators give to the various predicaments the contestants get themselves into, as if they were actual regular happenings. Last night on the log rolls they mentioned both the Willing Participant and the Scary Uncle (whence the quote that titles this post), both of which had me howling.

As far as Jurassic Park goes, it's still a good movie, though Jen's (accurate) comments were that the special effects (specifically the dinosaurs) haven't held up particularly well. Not that that's anything extraordinary--it's really the only part of a movie that really becomes obsolete--but it was really kind of startling. 11 years ago, when I saw it on the silver screen, it was one of the most amazing movies I'd ever seen. Today, after years of full-on CGI and improvements in robotics etc, the dinosaurs just don't seem as impressively fluid and real as they did. It's a little sad, I guess.

03:46 PM by Eric: Back from Yuppie Week--er, North Carolina Personal

Tennis, golf, sailing... ah, what a week. :) Though we did play poker, go bodysurfing, drink a lot, and wander around small beach towns in North Carolina too.

I was in Phoenix most of the week before--Friday I went from Phoenix to Raleigh with a very brief stop in the Austin airport. The vacation was nice, I'd been doing 15 hour days in Phoenix, and 10+ hour days for about the last 6 weeks, so I was WAY ready for a bit of vacation. The beach was lovely ? Zach and I spent a couple of hours one day bodysurfing, which was very cool. We also took a sailboat cruise on the Neuse River, which is briny where we were (half seawater, half fresh water), so it had a bunch of ocean life in it. We saw a half dozen small jellyfish, three stingrays (two of which appeared to be mating), an osprey, and a whole bunch of jumping mullet (kind of fish, apparently). There wasn't much wind (kinda disappointing, I miss sailing) but it was still fun. I guess they get a lot of bull sharks in there (someone was attacked earlier this month, 200 staples, but she was being towed behind a powerboat at the time, which sounds remarkably stupid to me? :). This was a big boat, 43?, so not too much like the old catamaran my parents used to have, but still fun. I guess the captain had sailed her old 36? boat solo to the Bahamas etc, which sounded like heaven to me and hell to Jen. ;)

The second day we were at the beach there were a bunch of big fish--not dolphins, but a couple of feet long easy--jumping very close to us. A couple of them jumped about 20 feet away, which was exciting. The ocean was great, perfect temperature, except the last day, when it was a little cold.

All of the guys played golf one day, which was? interesting. I had just enough decent shots to actually be frustrating. I almost hit a (moving!) car with one shot, which was briefly exciting. Other than that I gotta say golf is still not my favorite sport. ;) We did discuss a few times how my upbringing was very sort of ivy league/New England--sailing, golf, tennis, horses, about all I was missing was polo. ;) I told Jen I?d love to have a sailboat someday, but she?s skeptical of the whole idea.

Also, there was poker. And Jenny did clean us out the first night, it's true. But we were playing five-card draw, not the real stuff that night. ;)

Anyway, it was a nice week and I got a pretty decent tan -- managed to only burn my shoulders and my nose, and apparently my elbows (weird).

10:47 PM by Eric: I have no idea what to title this entry. Personal

Work is craaaaaazy at the moment. At least I seem to be keeping pace with my task list; that means I'll be fine right up until about Wednesday of next week, when all hell will break loose. Though I suppose it's possible that things will go more or less according to plan. I keep getting compliments from my bosses, which is nice. It'd be nicer if there were some other developers I could spread the load to, but it's a bit late for that now.

Random thoughts. Spider-Man's problem is that he has no way of telling whether there's a serious problem, or just some cop in a hurry on his way to a domestic disturbance. He and MJ could be in the middle of some intimate time, and he hears sirens, and he has no way to tell whether it's worth getting involved in or not. How much would it suck to swing half way across the city only to discover that the perp was in cuffs by the time you got there?

Batman has partially solved the problem, I mean, he's got the Batsignal. Of course, that really only works if it's dark out, or at least really cloudy. I guess he relies on criminals not committing major crimes on sunny days. Which probably works out all right in Gotham, come to think of it, since the sun doesn't come out during the entire Batman movie (there was only 1). That wouldn't work for Spidey, though, because the sun shines in New Yorkwhatever city that is.

Good Eats drives me nuts. Every episode I watch I'm like, "damn, I need a pizza stone and a peel," or "damn, how did I live this long without a mandoline," or "holy cow I need a digital thermometer with a 12 foot lead and which can outgraph my old TI-85". I don't really need any of these things, but the show does tend to (unintentionally, I think--then again, it may just be really good advertising) reinforce the "better cooking through gadgets" idea. To be fair, a lot of Alton's tips don't require any gadgets at all, and I love the show, it just drives the gadget freak in me absolutely nuts, that's all. Also, the man has like 16 kitchens, and that makes me jealous too. :-P But a 99 cent pizza stone, how can you not want one of those?

03:58 PM by Eric: Two more weeks... Personal

Two more weeks until Jen and I get to disappear into North Carolina for nine days with her fam. I can't say how much I'm looking forward to that, in so very many ways. :) Work is very stressful... we're winding up one project that had to be usable for a party the owners are having tomorrow, and we have a major major major project getting installed starting next week -- which I am flying off to vacation half way through, so my stuff has to all be done by then.

August should be decent, though; work will have slowed down, Jen and I should have some time to hang out, take the dogs for lots of walks, etc.

We're going to see Spider-Man 2 tonight... looking forward to that, since I hear it's much better than the first. We were planning on just waiting till we could get it on Netflix, but it does sound good. Plus we haven't been out on a date since Harry Potter (the night before Jen left for Louisville), so it's definitely time again. :)

I am so looking forward to hanging out with Tony and Laurie and Lindsay and Tom and Val... seeing them and my own family twice a year is one of the few things I really regret about Texas. (Dressel's is one of the others. ;)

Two more weeks... and this is a three-day weekend (office is celebrating Independence Day on the 5th)... yay!

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